By Keith Barnes
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PINE LEVEL — The drilling of a new well to be used by the town of Pine Level is expected to begin within the next seven to 10 days, according to Dan Simmons, project manager with McGill Associates of Smithfield, who is working with the town on its $2.7 million water and sewer upgrade.
“This well is the first major step in the project that has been on the drawing board for some time by the town and is being funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Association,” said Simmons.
The new well will be located near the Starfield Acres subdivision in Pine Level and is being donated to the town by lifelong residents Jim and Faye Starling.
Barefoot’s Well Drilling and Pump Service of Newton Grove came in as low bidder for the project with a bid of $35,500.
Barefoot’s was given the notice to proceed on Sept. 4 and has 30 days from that time to complete the drilling process.
After that date two tests will be run, the first known as a draw-down test to determine the quantity of water coming from the well followed by another test that determines the water’s chemical makeup.
According to Simmons, the well-digging does not mean anything is wrong with the current well being used by Pine Level that has been in operation for years.
“That well is doing just fine,” said Simmons. “The biggest reason for digging this well is to increase the water flow so Pine Level does not have to depend on Johnston County for backup water. Pine Level water costs a lot less than county water.”
“Pine Level has maintained a central water system since 1957 and a sanitary collection system since 1978,” said Simmons. “The water system has been served by one deep well and a backup connection to the Johnston County public utilities water system.”
According to Simmons, the main elements proposed for the total upgrade project include replacement of old water lines that have fallen below an acceptable level of service due to being undersized or prone to frequent repairs, providing for this second well as a supplemental backup source of groundwater and providing treatment as required to meet water quality standards.
Also, the capacity of the two primary sewer pumping stations in town will be increased by replacing the existing 4-inch force mains for each station with 6-inch lines and the upgrade provides for repairs to sewer manholes throughout the sewer collection system to address issues of excessive stormwater inflow into the system, Simmons explained.
“These improvements are intended to bring the town’s water and sewer systems to a standard that can be sustained in a cost-effective manner for the foreseeable future,” said Simmons.